Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Bible reading for women either

I would hate for a slippery slope argument to be invoked in the discussion about women in ministry, but.. this is where it leads to folks!

Tim Challies tries to defend only men reading scripture publicly

Lucky evangelical liturgies and prayers are such trite nonsense (ie lacking in teaching content), otherwise women would be excluded from those activities too.
What rubbish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From his premises, I can't fault his logic, even though (to quote the old Irishman once asked for directions) 'If I wanted to get to Dublin, I wouldn't start from here.'

I have to agree, reading with expression is the same thing as one aspect of preaching (the aspect we were trained to do well at MTC), though there may be differences of degree. So yep, it's teaching of a kind. It's lucky (running with the spirit of your last paragraph) that we've mostly lost the strong sense of Scripture speaking which originally powered the fourfold lectionary of the BCP.

On authority, the authority of a reader is less overt than the authority of a preacher. Reading almost always foregrounds the authority of the text, whereas preaching sometimes does. But we encourage our readers to read with understanding and expression - so we are encouraging agency, and the transmission of that understanding. So on the coat-tails of the text's authority comes the agency of the reader.

I nearly said above that where there's agency, there will be authority. But if submission can be active then I don't think that follows. So to avoid taking the text's authority on ourselves, we need to yield to it. Does that mean we need to yield to others, also?

The way out that suggests itself, then, is an emphasis on faithfulness for readers and preachers. Our task is not to give meaning to the text, but to bring out the text's meaning. So we each need to approach the task with humility, joyfully sitting under the text and standing alongside our hearers, second-guessing our eyes (and perhaps listening to their ears). And again, I got that from MTC much more than I ever got a particular reading of 1 Tim 2.

Oh, well. At least being grumpy with Mr Challies has prompted me to go do some digging again from 1 Tim 2.

Greetings ad Fontes.

Alan Wood